With meter:126.96.36.199 with refrain, was set to music by American gospel singer and hymn writer George Beverly Shea, (1909-2013) in 1939, and the song became popular worldwide. It has been performed by artists ranging from Jim Reeves, Gloria Gaither and Sloop Dog.
It appears that the copyright was not renewed, meaning it is now in the public domain in the USA. The situation is a little more complex in other countries, depending on their copyright law and timeframes
Solo singer with mandolin and fiddle backing - lots of instrumental:
Country singer with guitar backing:
LyricsI'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I'd rather be led by His nail pierced hand,
Than to be the king of a vast domain,
Or be held in sin's dread sway.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame.
I'd rather be true to His holy name.
He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He's sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He's all that my hungering spirit needs.
I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead.